§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Secretary of State for Employment what was the final cost to public funds of the docks voluntary severance scheme; what was the total number of employees who used the scheme; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of this total made up by those of 55 years and older or medically unfit.
§ Mr. Chichester-Clark
Final figures will not be available before early March as processing of applications including medical examination of the unfit is still taking place. So far 7,731 men have left the industry; 773 applications are outstanding. The total estimated cost is about £31 million. National Dock Labour Board figures for the first four months of the scheme were that 28 per cent. of the applications came from unfit men under 55, 24 per cent. from unfit men over 55 and the remainder from fit men over 55.